It’s September and everyone who is anyone (and even the nobodies) are putting a pumpkin spin on their menu. Pumpkin is plastered across just about every screen in America. I didn’t grow up on pumpkin though. And I mean no harm when I say this, but in my house pumpkin was always for “white people.”
“Pumpkin what? We don’t eat no pumpkin pie. We eat sweet potatuh pie!” We also don’t say sweet potat-O.
So I never experienced pumpkin until I became an adult and explored exactly what white people were doing with their canned pumpkin and pumpkin spice. I remember when I made my first pumpkin pie. I actually used fresh pumpkin left over from the pumpkin carvings we made with the kids. I don’t believe in wasting food, so I served pumpkin pie at a BBQ we hosted. And everyone who had a bite said basically the same thing, “that was good, but I didn’t know black people made pumpkin pie.
Well, I decided to bridge the divide. I mean, shout out to 2015! I realize that pumpkin pies will never be a staple at Thanksgiving, but I think it’s a cool idea to be a black woman with southern roots who experiments with pumpkin, especially seeing as there’s no water fountain with a sign hanging over that says “whites only.”
This recipe is very near and dear to my heart. How cliche right? Whatever–it’s true. The base of the recipe comes from my Great-Aunt Maxine’s sweet potato pie recipe. I make my filling exactly how she makes hers–and I call her every time I am going to make it so she can tell me how it should go. We don’t write recipes in my family–we tell them like stories and we never include measurements.
I am not ready to share the sweet potato pie recipe because it’s a family recipe, and I take much pride in knowing there are things that are special to my family that we can call our own. Might sound cheesy and it’s even possible that others don’t think there’s anything special at all about my family recipe. It’s my family’s though, and that’s all that matters. We live in the culture of the world wide web though, so I am certain there are plenty of recipes you can find to use here.
FRIED SWEET POTATO PUMPKIN PIE
Here’s what you need:
- Sweet potato mix
- Pumpkin mix
- Wanton wrappers
- Peanut oil (or vegetable oil for those with peanut allergies)
- Powdered sugar
Here’s what you do:
Everything about sweet potato pie reminds me of family. And since many of our recipes aren’t written down it’s very important to me to share our secrets with all the generations that come behind me. It’s the only way to story can continue to be told. My Grams always said that cooking is about knowing, and the only way you can know is to practice. You have to be able to feel your way through the kitchen, and I used this opportunity to show one of my younger cousin’s exactly what that means.
- Heat your oil on medium
- Mix your sweet potato mix and your pumpkin mix together. It’s OK if you have a lot because you can always freeze your leftover mix.
- Lay your wantons out flat
- Add a heaping tbsp of your mix to each wanton
- Fold the wanton diagonally so that each corner touches
- Pull the two outside corners together and make them kiss. You may need to push the middle in slightly so you get a good bend.
- You may need to dip your fingers in a little water to make the wantons stick
- Drop your wantons into the oil. Be careful not to crowd your pot because the wantons will not cook evenly if you do.
- Once the wantons are a golden brown (and float to the top) pull them out and lay on a paper towel to drain the oil.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with marshmallow dipping sauce (recipe below)
MARSHMALLOW DIPPING SAUCE
You definitely don’t need the sauce to enjoy these mini mouthfuls of goodness, but it adds a nice touch if you’re serving them at a dinner party.
- 1/2 cup mini marshmallows
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1 tbsp sugar
- Bring coconut milk to a light boil
- Add marshmallows and reduce to medium heat
- Add heavy cream
- Add sugar
- Stir and scrape the sides of the pot until the marshmallows are completely melted